Critique Matters


Today I have been working on a novel that I had abandoned. For what reason, I don’t know. I probably got off on another creative adventure. Shocking, huh!

So, here’s what’s on my mind. I’d like to revisit this novel. I haven’t really fully edited it yet, but, I’d like to take an honest approach to getting it published. I know I have work to do and have reached out to groups for some honest critiques, but I thought I’d give my readers a chance at it first.

Let’s be honest, you would be my audience, right? Or maybe intrigued enough to read through this first page and tell me three things:

~ Does it capture your attention enough to turn the page?

~ Are the characters, this far, likable?

~ Should I trash it and try again?

Please leave comments or feel free to email me at Debbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Thank you! Write On!


All Lacy Parker wanted was a little breathing room and the only place she could find it was in her bathtub. Even though the bubbles were flat and the water was getting cold, Lacy took this time to reflect on her complicated life, especially the last few months concerning Dawson’s infidelity. The four years they spent married was rocky, some would say . . .  insane.

Dawson was frantically packing for his tour to Iraq; a tour that would hopefully prove more successful on his return.

The letter sat unopened on the kitchen table.  A promise of a new tomorrow felt deep within Lacy’s heart as she heard the front door slam.

“Dawson . . .” Lacy howled louder. “Dawson.” Tears ran down her face leaving track marks through her makeup, only to realize he may not return.

Lacy sank further into her cold water, tears of anger welled up inside. A goodbye would have been nice.

“Hey . . . Lacy,” Dawson’s voice took up the silence, “You here?”

How didn’t he know where she was? Maybe he thought she went outside.

“Yea, Dawson, I’m up here.” Lacy jumped from the tub and wrapped an oversized towel around her thin frame; long blond tendrils lay wet against her shoulders. The knock on the bathroom door indicated Dawson was there.  She opened the door wide enough for him to walk in. Her towel fell to the tile floor as Dawson wrapped his strong tattooed arms around her.


I’m so excited to announce, I did complete the 50,000 word challenge.

Finished with 50,013 words!


My plan is to post a journal like entry, about my journey, through the entire month.

It was fun.

It was challenging.

It was, at times, impossible.

Yet, I finished. And a day early. Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, in fact…

So, as I always say,

Write On!



NaNoWriMo Day 27

It’s the eve of Thanksgiving and I am 3,289 words away from finishing.

Winning! as they call it at NaNoWriMo. The first time EVER I’ve completed this challenge, and I can honestly say, with the exception of a couple days, that it hasn’t been that hard. In fact, my mojo is back.

Much coffee has been consumed through this challenge.  A skinny peppermint mocha tonight. 


I was telling my husband tonight it’s kind of fun when I get into the scene and can picture exactly how Morgan or Zac are acting. How they will react. It’s fun to see the story develop. I think the biggest thing I learned is I don’t have to constantly revisit my story to see what happened when I wrote seven days ago. It’s fresh in my mind from “yesterday.” I even find I’m catching the tense issues I’ve often struggled with.

So many things to have been learned and gained from a challenge like this one. I plan on taking time to celebrate my success, then revisit the entire process. From November 1st-30th. There had been work challenges (my book came out this month, so much had gone into getting that perfected with my publisher. I have an online store that I’ve had to knit for and maintain. Along with family obligations.) 

Still it got done. No, I’m not completely done, but dang-it, I WILL be.

I guarantee it.



I’m also wondering how you all are doing? How you are feeling right now? Will you finish? Are you close? What have been some of your challenges. Please share. I’d love to read…

So, my friends, as I always say,

Write On!



NaNoWriMo Day 26

Wow! is all I can say. The fact that I can’t wait to get the next chapter written even though my story is character driven and Morgan drives the plot, well, it’s a thrill.

I spent a couple hours at Starbucks this afternoon, sipping on coffee and water and writing the next chapter. Yes, I’m still behind, but slowly creeping up. I’ve been able to write 2 chapters a day to catch up before Thanksgiving Day hits. That’s an average of about 3500 words a day. Now, why didn’t I manage to stay on target with only 1667 words a day. How much easier would that have been?


I must make it difficult, I think. 

Nah…It’s all good. 

I have really enjoyed the writing process. I must confess. Just last Wednesday, my husband looked at me and said, “I have to tell you something, and you may not be happy with me. You will finish this NaNoWriMo. You will. I need you to feel this sense of accomplishment. You need to feel this sense of accomplishement. You started this to get your writing mojo back. You can do this. So write.”

Or something to that extent. That’s what I heard him say, anyway. 

So…I write. And write. And write.

I’m listening to Nora Jones and typing away at my craft table in my basement where I just finished the 2nd chapter for the day. I’ve written 41,854 words since November 1st. I WILL have 50,000 by Saturday. That’s ONLY 8,146 words to go.



Check out the meter. We are almost done. Well, I am anyway.

Are you?? Are you?

So, as I always say,

Write On!



NaNoWriMo Day 24

I know. I know. I haven’t posted anything in about a week. Life happens, right? 🙂

The release of my second (knitting) book happened on Friday, but I spent much of that week cleaning things up with it. *squee* Too excited.

My 50,000 word novel WILL get finished. I promise you that! I have the ambition this year to finish, a well written novel, at that. I’ve done much editing, despite what they say should happen. I’ve taken a few days off, despite what should have happened, yet I will finish. And on time. I have never EVER got this far in 30 days. Huge accomplishment for me!

Winner! Needs to be the word come Sarurday night.

I’ve been writing 2 chapters a day for the last 2 days, and will do that until I’m caught up. I have left Thursday, Thanksgiving, to only 1 chapter. I have to cook the meal and my family will be here to eat it. 

I find I write well in a coffee shop for the first chapter, then pack up to come home. I knit for awhile, then finish up the next chapter for the day at my dining room table. 


How are you doing? I mean, really. I would love you to leave a comment so I know I’m not alone in this.

Word Count Accomplished: 33,459 (words remaining 16,541)

So, as I always say, 

Write On!






*sigh* You know what I’m saying, right?

You’re cruising along with your WIP, in this case, NaNoWriMo, and life sticks its foot out and trips you up. Image


I can sit and knit all day, think of potential scenes, but the moment that foot flies out, bam!

So, how do we get it back? Some people say, just do it! Others say, how ’bout a writing prompt? Others say, I get it, I’m watching for your followers to post their responses.

What gets you moving in a forward direction when your WIP stalls, or trips you up? I’d love to hear…

So, as I always say,

Write On!

NaNoWriMo Day 14

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated you all.

I AM making great progress. I did have a small hiccup this past weekend when my husband, who had been on a business trip for a week, came home.

In walks distraction. (a good one though)

I did get caught up on Monday, then had another one on Tuesday. I didn’t write at all. Oops. So, Wednesday was spent writing 2 days worth.

Done. I decided to have lunch at one of my favorite coffee shop/cafes, Nemo’s, on Wednesdsay. They provide home made food and music I love to listen to.

Word count accomplished.



I then headed back home and wrote the rest from my chair.

Again, word count accomplished.

It is now Thursday, where I woke up excited to write. I think it has something to do with the fact that I now know where I’m taking the rest of this story…or at least some of it anyway.

In walks distraction: On my way to my writing place, I decided to stop at a new shop, used womens clothes and accessories. I snagged a Vera Bradley bag for only $20. Score.



On the road again, and headed straight for Panera Bread to find the perfect booth and have the perfect lunch.



Word count accomplished: 23,424 (26,576 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?


Music is always playing, though this time, NOT on my ipod

Beverage(s) of choice: Mango tea, Herbal Hibiscus, water, iced coffee

Place(s) I chose to write: My comfy chair in the corner, Nemos Coffee/Cafe, Panera Bread


So, as I always say,

Write On!



NaNoWriMo Day 11

Did you notice something? Yes, I missed Day 10.

By design.

Not from the lack of my husband prodding me all day, but by the lack of motivation on my part. I could come up with ten reason why I chose not to write, but not one would make any sense.

Fast forward to Day 11. Done. Word Count Accomplished!

I have to say it’s getting (a little bit) more difficult to keep the story moving forward. You’ve read books like that, where the author gets so stuck, the same scene continues and continues. I guess it’s not that bad, but when you sit in front of the blinking cursor, you quickly realize there’s nothing there.


I managed to move it forward with ease, once the fingers started clicking and I stopped over analyzing it. I think that’s where I get into trouble.

I’m also finding my character, Morgan, talking to me more. I know, some of you think that may be weird, but it really IS the case. She knows where this story is going to take us and it will be a happily ever after despite all the “stuff” happening.

It’s a romance. It has to.

looking thru chairs










Words completed to date: 18,341 (31,659 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?


Music playing on my iPod: Smooth Jazz

Beverage of Choice: Iced coffee

Place I chose to write: My dining room table.


So, as I always say,

Write On!


NaNoWriMo Day 9


Got that done a bit more late today. Stuff happens, right? My husband came home from a business trip today, and we had dinner with our daughter. After a stop at Best Buy, we came home and I headed to my office to write.

Word Count Accomplished.

There are three rules to writing a novel,

Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham

Isn’t that the truth. I’ve always been told when you know the rules, you can break them. Knowing the rules is often the hard part. In writing 50,000 words in 30 days, all rules go out the window. Though, for me, I can stick to some of them. Editing, for example is done sparingly and only when I know it doesn’t sound right, or what was my character thinking? I’m not going there, I often talk back.

I’m having a great time doing this. We are 9 days in. That’s huge! I try to NOT to look at the big picture here, but take it one day at a time. I also try to stick to the 1667 or within 100 words over, so I don’t overwhelm myself. I know some will write 3000-5000 a day.

Not me. That’s what makes us all different, right?

I also find that taking time after I write with a fun, no-brained type of activity like reading a magazine or knitting, helps to gather my thoughts and re-hash what I just wrote.










Words completed to date: 15,138 (34,862 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?


Music playing on my TV: Smooth Jazz

Beverage of choice: Mango juice

Place I chose to write: My office


So, as I always say,

Write On!


NaNoWriMo Day 8

Are you keeping up? We are over the 25% mark of being finished.

That’s 1/4 of finishing with 50,000 words.

Today was not as busy as the last 7 days have been. I was able to have coffee with a friend and finish part of an Etsy order.

And Write!

As my husband mentioned to me tonight, “at least you’re getting in the writing habit.” Exactly right! Sometimes you just plain don’t feel like writing, but when you finally talk yourself into it, you’re glad you did. I’m speaking of myself, of course.

The ability to be a Pantser during NaNoWriMo was something I didn’t think would be possible. You’d want to have a plan, an outline of where the story would go. Not me. Like I mentioned, the only plan I had was to write a chapter for the book each day. That’s 30 chapters total. How the chapter ends dictates how the next chapter begins. Easy for me. I can get my head wrapped around the scene and into my characters head.

Speaking of characters, I love my Main Character, Morgan. She’s very likable and at times pretty fun. Everyone loves to be with her and the two men that think they want her, well, makes for some fun writing. I press on, scene after scene. Chapter after chapter. I’m truly finding that love for writing I once had.


So, next time you’re at a cross roads with your character or scene, try to put yourself in his/her shoes. Visualize where they are at that moment and press forward. Sometimes running is better than walking, and sprinting is definitely better in the end, when you’re trying to get to the end.

Word Count Accomplished!

Words completed to date: 13,349 ( 36,651 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?


Music playing on my Ipod: Jack Johnson

Beverage of choice: Herbal Iced Tea

Place I chose to write: Panera Bread


So, as I always say,

Write On!